At, Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal West Zonal Bench At Mumbai
By, THE HONORABLE JUSTICE: S.S. GARG
By, MEMBER AND THE HONORBLE JUSTICE: C.J. MATHEW
For Petitioner: Sachin Chitnis, Advocate And For Respondents: Vivek Dwivedi, Asstt. Commr. (AR)
1. Appellant, M/s. Ocean Gate Container Terminal P. Ltd. challenges the liability fastened on them on the ground of violation of principles of national justice. Till t
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he recovery notice was served on them, they were unaware of proceedings launched against them commencing with the issue of show cause notice and that the notice of personal hearing, as well as the order-in-original, was not in their knowledge and could not participate in the hearing scheduled by original authority owing to lack of notice. According to Learned Counsel for appellant, they initiated steps to obtain the order of the original authority and filed an appeal before the Commissioner of Central Excise, Mumbai who, vide order-in-appeal No. SK/268/RGD/2013-14, dated 30th September, 2013, dismissed their appeal on the ground of bar of limitation.
2. Learned Authorised Representative submits that notice for personal hearing was sent by 'Express Mail Service' and that failure to file appeal within the time frame prescribed in Section 85 of Finance Act, 1994 is not in doubt.
3. Notwithstanding the submissions made by either side, it is clear from the order of the original authority that the demand has been confirmed without affording the appellant an opportunity of being heard or for submitting reply to the show cause notice.
4. In our view, this constitutes a violation of the principles of natural justice and it is only appropriate that the matter should be heard afresh. In order to so comply, the impugned order is set aside and the matter remanded to the original authority for a fresh decision after giving due notice to the appellant for a personal hearing. Appeal is accordingly allowed by way of remand